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POP MUSIC REVIEWS

Warwick, Bacharach Are Still Fresh, Winning Combination

November 11, 1996|DON HECKMAN

Was there ever a better partnership between singer and songwriters than the combination of Dionne Warwick with Burt Bacharach and Hal David? Thirty years after the trio produced an extraordinary string of hits, their music still sounds fresh and contemporary.

Warwick and Bacharach have performed together frequently in recent years, and their program at the Terrace Theatre in Long Beach Saturday night--a benefit for the Memorial-Miller Children's Hospital--followed the usual formula: Run through the dozens of ear-catching hits, add a bit of friendly chatter and let the music take stage center.

Although Warwick was recovering from a recent auto accident, the stiffness of her movements in no way impacted her voice, which was in superb form. A couple of tunes-- "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and "Always Something There to Remind Me"--stretched her range into difficult upper territory. But she more than made up for it with a stunning rendition of "Alfie" and delightful versions of "This Girl's in Love With You," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" and "I Say a Little Prayer for You."

In fact, Warwick seemed to get better as the evening progressed. Her talent rests not only in her voice, which is one of a kind, but in the superb musicality that invests her performances. Given the right material, Warwick is still, at 55, as good as any singer in pop music.

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